Robin Hood

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - CINEMA - HI­LARY A WHITE

Cert: 12A; Now show­ing

A uni­verse away from Er­rol Flynn and green tights, Robin Hood is hereby fit­ted with black leather and heavy mas­cara, and told to get with the moody, gloomy dis­po­si­tion of these un­cer­tain times. Direc­tor Otto Bathurst and co-writ­ers Ben Chan­dler and David James Kelly have also done away with “ye olde Eng­land” and brought the swash­buck­ling thief to a glossy steam­punk di­men­sion rife with sleek tai­lor­ing and de­signer stub­ble.

Cheeky chap­pie Taron Eger­ton ( The Kings­man) looks like he’s been dropped on to the cob­bled streets fol­low­ing a Cam­den pub-crawl. He is Robin of Lox­ley, a young lord whose ro­mance with Mar­ian (Eve Hew­son) is way­laid when he is drafted to fight in the Cru­sades.

An act of mercy for a Moor­ish fighter called John (Jamie Foxx) lands him on a boat back to Not­ting- ham. There, he re­unites with John and de­cides to take on the das­tardly sher­iff (Ben Men­del­sohn) who is tax­ing the poor to the hilt. Be­liev­ing Robin to be dead, Mar­ian, mean­while, has hooked up with Jamie Dor­nan’s lo­cal do-gooder.

Ar­rows thwump into bad guys, Men­del­sohn hams up the nasty scowls, and Hew­son is squeezed shame­lessly into a se­ries of plung­ing neck­lines. So car­toon­ish is this ver­sion of the me­dieval pe­riod that you find your­self re­assess­ing Kevin Cost­ner’s mul­leted 1990s in­car­na­tion, which now feels like a gritty docu­d­rama (and a very com­pelling one at that) by com­par­i­son.

Silli­ness aside, Robin Hood is de­void of at­mos­phere, as well as be­ing thin on plot and overly re­liant on bom­bas­tic hi­jinks. Even its all-star cast seem un­sure of them­selves de­spite all those lav­ish sets and in­tri­cate fight chore­og­ra­phy. Strictly for “tweens”.

Jamie Foxx and Taron Eger­ton inRobin Hood

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